Social media is a relative newcomer to the business marketing mix.
While it can produce some outstanding benefits, businesses also need to come to terms with the risks it can pose. What is social media? How can you use it to promote your business? What are its downside risks?
Social media is a set of Web-based applications that allow users to generate content and interact with other application users. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat and other similar applications are all considered “social media.”
Sharing Can Inform & Increase the Experience For All
If I use a particular product, I might share that information with my social network. People in my social network may be influenced by my positive (or negative) experiences. They may learn about a new product or service thanks to my word-of-mouth endorsement. They can also learn from my mistakes! And in sharing my experience, the members of my social network may share my experience with members of their social networks.
Marketers are naturally attracted to social media because that’s where their target consumers are. Social media networks can effectively distribute news and information in a person-to-person way. Marketers and corporations can participate in social networks, just like an individual can. And therein lies one of the risks.
Businesses want to interact with their customers, but social networks aren’t strictly business. Marketing plans can attempt to influence customers, or take advantage of the timeliness of an event, but as companies like Pepsi and United Airlines have discovered, they can control their inputs to social media, but they can’t control the way people react to those inputs.
Do You Have A Social Media Marketing Plan?
So how do you tackle the issue of social media in your marketing plan? Having a firm social media strategy is one of the first steps in managing your social media marketing presence. Not every social network is equal. Some social networks excel in certain situations, and flop in others. Choosing the right social media space is one way to limit the risks of social media marketing.
Be Consistent. Have a Plan. Execute Every Day.
Delivering a consistent message is another key element of a social media strategy. Sometimes, your business runs into an unhappy customer. Having a plan to triage and address bad reviews or negative comments is a must. The rest of the social network is watching; addressing negativity appropriately can transform a bad experience into a positive one.
Maximizing the benefits of social media and navigating the pitfalls can be tough. If you’d like more information about how you develop an effective social media strategy for your business, please contact us at (509) 792-3283 or fill out a contact request form. We can show your business how to make the most of social media marketing opportunities.